Love Journey 2
Cathy Risden, Lifestyle Writer
You have nothing to lose and all to gain, so you should have already completed week one of our love journey challenge, and you should be anxiously getting ready to take on week two. If you haven't started your 41-day love journey yet, you can start today with last week's dares.
Three women have set out on this journey to redefine their relationships by going above and beyond with this 41-day love challenge. Here is what they have to say after week one:
"I entered this challenge with an open mind. My marriage isn't shaky but it's certainly not perfect. As such, I resisted the urge to be 'myself' as patience is a virtue I currently don't possess much of. Well, I accomplished the mission. And though after day two, I slipped into my old ways, I must say I can already see the benefits of making a conscious effort of being kind, patient and unselfish. Looking forward to the days ahead."
(who currently lives with her partner)
"Week one was quite an eye-opener for me. Being kind came natural to me, but being patient did not, so that has been the biggest challenge so far. I found, however, that when I calm down, which took some getting used to, and approached the situation rationally, I received a totally different response from him. Instead of butting heads, we were engaging in far more 'lovey-dovey' moments. Consequently, the kindness I offered was seen in a slightly different light. It was not seen as apologetic, but appreciative. Looking forward to what week two has in store for me, and, significantly, [for] us."
"My love journey might be different from many others. I do not have the expectations of some grand gesture at the end, I just want to start on the right footing. When it came to day one, for me, it was pretty easy. I am the kind of person who says how I feel and moves on, and because the relationship was so new, we had not faced any real obstacle that needed forgiveness. I am still yet to do day two as I am not sure what to get without looking pushy and trying to move the relationship along too fast. However, this is something I might revisit on another day.
"We are different human beings trying to find our place in each other's lives and I want him to be honest with me and tell me that I have done something to upset him now so I know what he likes, dislikes or just cannot tolerate, and vice versa. I am not a romantic, but I was 'sweeter' than I usually am. Thus far, I have not seen any changes, but I am happy with where we are, so if all this does is to keep me content, then I am also happy."
Kira Rochett, who has read the article, decided to share her experience with Flair. She has been in a committed relationship for almost six years and felt the need to take on this 41-day love journey to spice up her relationship:
"Day one for me was the hardest, or what seemed like the hardest, coming in at number one - and that was love forgives. I am not a fan of forgiveness in a relationship, but I chose to put everything behind me and to stop bringing our past into our future. After doing this, I felt lighter, as I threw away the now overflowing baggage we created over the years. Today, I made myself a blank canvas. His reply was he's happy to hear, as that's what he has waited for and wanted for years.
"Day two for me was odd, too. I don't buy gifts as I'm always one to personalise everything. So the creative hands on me chose to send an email to him. He's a sales representative, so my subject was an order of Caprisun. But upon opening the email, he instead saw a 'thinking of you' poem. His reply was that it was beautiful and unexpected."
Continue to commit to a day at a time for the remaining 34 days. Remember the results could change your life, and your relationship/marriage. Don't even think of throwing in the towels now, even though you might feel like it.
Week Two November 24-30
Day 8: Love is not irritable
Choose today to react to tough circumstances in your relationship/marriage in loving ways instead of with irritation. Begin by making a list of any wrong motivations that you need to release from your life.
Day 9: Love is not jealous
Determine to become your partner's/spouse's biggest fan, and to reject any thoughts of jealousy. To help you set your heart on your spouse and focus on their achievements, take yesterday's list of negative attributes and discreetly burn it. Then share with your spouse how glad you are about a success he or she recently enjoyed.
Day 10: Love is thoughtful
What need does your spouse have that you could meet today? Can you run an errand? Give a back rub or foot massage? Is there housework you could help with? Choose a gesture that says, "I cherish you" and do it with a smile.
Day 11: Love fights fair
Talk with your spouse about establishing healthy rules of engagement. If your mate is not ready for this, then write out your own personal rules to 'fight' by. Resolve to abide by them when the next disagreement occurs.
Day 12: Love always protects
Remove anything that is hindering your relationship, any addiction or influence that's stealing your affections and turning your heart away from your spouse.
Day 13: Love brings unity
Isolate one area of division in your marriage, and look on today as a fresh opportunity to pray about it. Ask the Lord to reveal anything in your own heart that is threatening oneness with your spouse. Pray that He would do the same for them. And, if appropriate, discuss this matter openly, seeking God for unity.
Day 14: Love vs lust
End it now. Identify every object of lust in your life and remove it. Single out every lie you've swallowed in pursuing forbidden pleasures and reject it. Lust cannot be allowed to live in a back bedroom. It must be killed and destroyed - today - and replaced with the sure promises of God and a heart filled with His perfect love.
To be continued in the Flair on December 1.
Names changed to protect identity
Inspired by the film 'Fireproof' and the novel 'Love Dare'. Share your progress each week. Send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Contact The Gleaner for last week's copy of Flair magazine.